Sound Off: Know any good ghost stories about local real estate?

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A: What could be so spooky about San Francisco? Much more than meets the eye or that most locals know about.

Take Sutro Baths, that burned in the 1960s and left many since then reporting that they screaming echoing throughout the abandoned tunnels.

Or do you recall Senator David Broderick, the anti-slavery hero who had a duel over that topic with Supreme Court Justice Terry in the 1850s? The gunbattle where Broderick lost his life occured at Fort Mason’s Haskell House. Broderick’s ghost supposedly wanders the halls and has been known to follow people into the bathroom.



Guests swear Miss Mary Lake lingers the fourth floor of the Queen Anne Hotel. Lake operated a girls school there, and she appears to be a helpful ghost. She’s reportedly unpacked guests’ clothes, picked up clutter, and tucked them in at night.

But, of course, the Bay Area’s most famous haunted house has to be the Winchester House, it’s one of the world’s most famous haunted houses, after all. The story is that the Winchester family was cursed by the souls of all those killed by the family’s namesake firearm.

Another intruiging tale is Stow Lake. This murky mystery began years ago when a woman supposedly lost control of her stroller and jumped in to save her baby, who went into the water.

Neither were seen again. Late at night, many who pass by say they see her ghost begging them to help find her baby. San Francisco has many ghost tours. Check one out if you’re feeling brave this Halloween.

Rachel Swann, Vanguard Properties, (415) 225-7743, rachel@vanguardsf.com.

A: Want to scare a Realtor? Ask them to sell a home with a bunch of tacky furniture, unkempt bathrooms, and mystery odors. Odds are decent the agent conducts an exorcism before bringing over any potential buyers.

In other words, you want an agent/exorcist. Someone who understands first impressions are everything, and that people all over the world can see your home online—Instagram alone sees half a billion users every month.

So banish those smelly litter boxes, evidence of smoking, spicy cooking aromas, pet hair, sweaty athletic shoes, must and mildew, funky refrigerators, and those overwhelming plug-ins that all make for scents that are less than pleasurable to prospective buyers.

For everyone’s health and well-being, open the windows and let the spirits OUT and then let’s bring in a team of professionals to eradicate The Blob. (Just a side note; how exactly did The Blob move so quickly when it had no legs? I mean, it was a BLOB, right?)

If you want to present your home as a veritable “haunted house,” it’s certainly your right to do so. But you’ll walk away with far less than your neighbor down the street, who invested the time and money into presenting the house in a fresh, new, and totally inviting way.

Julie Gardner, the Grubb Co., (510) 326-0840, jgardner@grubbco.com.

A: Let me preface by disclosing that I’m a full fledged scaredy-cat when it comes to ghost stories or anything paranormal. Consider this: I couldn’t even watch previews for the movie, “The Conjuring.”

Even researching and reading about San Francisco’s haunted history raised hairs on my neck. So….I’ve decided to go with fun ghost stories

During Prohibition, San Francisco’s York Hotel operated a speakeasy out of the Empire Plush Room. The country’s ban on alcohol didn’t last long, but supposedly the ghost of the plush room’s pianist, Lester, still hangs around.

The St. Francis Hotel is famous for its views and amenities, but those interested in the paranomal might want to check out a room on the twelfth floor. Suite 1221 is where singer Al Jolson died mid-poker game in 1950. In addition to Jolson, the ghosts of celebrities John Barrymore, Fatty Arbuckle and a lovely lady in a white dress also frequent the stately hotel.

A piano player, singer, lovely lady in a white dress. What’s could be scary about all that?

Par Hanji, Paragon Real Estate Group, (415) 307-5110, phanji@paragon-re.com.

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Sound-Off-Know-any-good-ghost-stories-about-10421220.php

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